Summary: We are truly blessed in our Christian walk when we learn to apply the word of God to every situation in our lives.
¡§ But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves, and in going away, immediately forget what they are like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act- they will be blessed in their doing ¡§. (NRSV)
The Contemporary English Version says it like this;
¡§Obey God¡¦s message! Don¡¦t fool yourselves by just listening to it. If you hear the message but don¡¦t obey it, you are like people who stare at themselves in the mirror. And forget what they look like as soon as they leave. But you must never stop looking at the perfect law that sets you free. God will bless you in everything you do, if you listen and obey, and don¡¦t just hear and forget ¡§.
#1) Notice first, that there is a divine order that James gives to us in order to be successful in the word. The divine order is listen. Then put the word into action.
A. Hearing the word is like when you pass by a place where they are cooking something that is good. You can smell it, sometimes you can even taste it in the smell, it smells good, you know what it is by its smell. But unless you eat
it, it¡¦s not part of you.
* The moment you eat, that food starts to flow through your system and it nourishes your body.
* Your senses awaken by its taste and you want more because it tastes so good.
„h The same thing when we are not hearers only, but also doers.
„h By doing what the word says it becomes part of you and it awakens your spiritual senses to want more of God in our lives and more of His word.
#2) Notice the Contemporary Version says; ¡§Obey God¡¦s message¡¨
We are only walking in obedience when we are doing both. Hearing and doing.
A. Romans 2:13 says; ¡§ God accepts those who obey His law, but not those who simply hear it¡¨.
B. It¡¦s like faith; James said in James 2:14; ¡§ What good is it to say that you have faith when you don¡¦t do any thing to show that you really do have faith?
C. Then He says in verse 18; ¡§ Show me your faith apart from your works and I will show you mine by my works¡¨.
Notice that; The word and faith both demand action. There is a saying that says that ¡§action speaks louder than words¡¨.
#3) The second part of verse 22 says; ¡§Don¡¦t fool yourself by just listening to it¡¨
A. We are being fools if we listen to the word day in and day out and not apply it to our lives. And missing out on the blessings.
B. Notice; The word compares such a person to one that looks at himself in the mirror and the moment he turns away he forgot what he looked like.
C. Forgot that his hair was out of place and went out to the street with messy hair.
D. Forgot to put on the toupee. Or to wash his face.
E. The word keeps us in check. It keeps us clean and pure.
D. Notice that it says that; ¡§The perfect law sets you free¡¨. The perfect law is the word of God not the rituals of man.
Jesus said; ¡§ Everyone who hears my words and acts on them is like a wise man who built His house on the rock (building your house on the rock means that you are both listening and applying the word to your life). The rains fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on the house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock¡¨(applying the word to our lives is the way to conquer over the storms of life).
¡§And everyone who hears my word and does not act on it is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against the house, and it fell and great was it¡¦s fall ¡§.
* Notice that both men listened to His word but only one of them was obedient and built the right way.
* The one thing that determines weather you are wise or foolish is the foundation that you built your life on. God¡¦s way, or your own way?
* Both had the same instruction but only one followed them.
* Both passed difficult times; ¡§The rain fell, the floods came and the wind blew¡¨ for both.